Examining influences on antibiotic prescribing by nurse and pharmacist prescribers: A qualitative study using the Theoretical Domains Framework and COM-B

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • External authors:
  • Molly Courtenay
  • Samantha Rowbotham
  • Rosemary Lim
  • Kathryn Yates
  • Angel M. Chater


Objectives: Respiratory tract infections are frequently managed by nurse and pharmacist prescribers and these prescribers are responsible for 8% of all primary care antibiotic prescriptions. Few studies have explored antibiotic prescribing amongst these prescribers, and interventions to target their antibiotic prescribing behaviour do not exist. Research objectives were to (1) use the Theoretical Domains Framework to identify the factors that influence nurse and pharmacist prescriber management of respiratory tract infections, (2) identify the Behaviour Change Techniques that can be used as the basis for the development of a theoretically informed intervention to support appropriate prescribing behaviour.
Design: Qualitative design comprising semi-structured interviews, using the Theoretical Domains Framework and Capability, Opportunity and Motivation for Behaviour (COM-B).
Setting: Primary care
Participants: Twenty one prescribers (4 pharmacists and 17 nurses)
Results: A range of factors across twelve domains of the TDF were found to influence prescriber behavior, and forty BCTs were identified as supporting appropriate prescribing. For example, patient expectations (social influence) was identified as a factor influencing prescribing decisions, and a number of BCTs (problem solving, goal setting, information about health consequences) were identified as supporting prescribers in managing these expectations.
Conclusion:. With increasing numbers of nurse and pharmacist prescribers managing infections in primary care, these findings will inform theoretically grounded interventions to support appropriate prescribing behaviour by these groups.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalBMJ Open
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 29 May 2019